Monday, June 21, 2010

Customized Promotional Products Will Get You Noticed!

Look around you. Everywhere there is an item with a company's logo & advertising message on it. It could be a paper cup from Burger King, a note pad for a car dealership or a baseball cap flashing the title of a TV show. Now look at the pen you're writing with......who's name is on it? It should be yours. If it was, think how visible your company would be all day--everyday.

Promotional imprinted products are powerful marketing tools that target your audience & potential customers who might be interested in the product or service you're offering. I explain just how important & effective they are in my first blog: Why Use Promotional Imprinted Products (March 2010).

Today every business is doing its best to attract the attention of customers by allocating advertising budgets. These budgets should include advertising specialties because they have the ability to keep your logo visible for years to come. They should not be considered an expense, but rather an investment since their goal is to increase your revenue.

Investing in promotional wholesale products will be a long-term & wise decision. The cost of advertising on promotional items is remarkably low, yet the number of consumers exposed to your advertising message is exceptionally high. They can reach any & all targeted audiences you are going after.

The Advertising Specialty Institute conducted a survey & reported that people who receive promotional items keep them for an average of seven to nine months. This provides repeated & consistent exposure to your company. Have you given a bag to someone lately? Chances are, they'll use it more than ten times a month & your logo on that bag will be seen monthly by 1,038 people. That's just one multiply it by the number of bags you ordered & gave out in that one month.

Since your message is the medium, items with your name & logo on them will stay with your clients & potential customers. They will be within their sight as long as the promotional custom products are being used. Consumers will be reminded of you every time they write with a pen that has our name on it, drink from a coffee cup with your advertising message, hit a golf ball with your logo or drive behind a car with your website on the license plate frame. T-shirts & recyclable bags are walking billboards for your business.

Let your name stand out in front of the public at all times.
Ronni Sherman

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Water Bottles--Hot Summer Promotional Imprinted Products

Summer is the perfect season to plan your promotional campaign. Because of the weather, people are more active. Daylight savings time makes it convenient for people to stay out longer & to go to more places than they do during the winter months. This also the time for family vacations. All of this helps in expanding your customer reach if you choose the right customized promotional item.

One of the best promotional imprinted products to give out at this time are water bottles. People plan their outings during summer vacations & prefer to carry water bottles wherever they travel......whether it's to a local beach, the gym or an excursion to a further destination.

Ok, I know what you're thinking......the ones that were made of soft white plastic & were stashed away in a forgotten place or rolled around the floor of your car. Not so--that water bottle is as out-of-date as a console TV. They've come along way in the last few years. Look around you when you're out in public or take note of what's being sold in the stores.

They're now available in various sizes, shapes, colors, patterns, materials & designs. They're generally transparent hard plastic bottles in brilliant colors that will make your logo & advertising message pop. Bio-degradable bottles as well as aluminum & stainless steel bottles are also very popular. The best thing about all of these......they no longer retain tastes or odors like the old fashioned white plastic ones did. And they're BPA free & eco-friendly.

Most companies either focus on other promotional events or run their own where they can hand out water bottles as useful advertising specialties. These events can include anything: grand openings, golf tournaments, team sponsorships, marathons, office functions & charity or political fund-raisers. They also make great thank you & customer appreciation gifts. One of my customers, a large new & used car dealership, leaves one in the cup holder every time a car is brought in for servicing.

Colors for these bottles are vibrant & they can go along with your company's color & logo. There's a large imprint area that allows space for your logo, company name & advertising message. In most cases, both sides of thee bottle can be imprinted for the same price.

Due to the various sizes & materials used, water bottles are one of the most versatile of all promotional custom products. For instance a sporting goods store that's celebrating a grand opening may give out large stainless steel bottles that carries sufficient water to keep someone hydrated. While a pediatrician or a toy manufacturer will probably hand out smaller brightly colored plastic bottles that would attract the kids. A company sponsoring a local soccer team may fore go their colors on a water bottle & give the players & their families bottles that are in the team colors--one side showing the team name & the other, the sponsor's information.

As far as the summer season is concerned, giving away promotional water bottles is the perfect item for any business in any industry since they're so adaptable. The main thing to remember is water bottles travel & wherever someone carries them, they are carrying your logo & message. This makes them a great marketing tool to connect you with your clients & prospective customers.

If anyone has any other ideas about imprinted promotional wholesale products to give out during the summer months, please let me know. In the meantime, I hope this helps you decide on a practical yet fun promotional item for your next marketing campaign.

Good luck!
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Building Customer Loyalty

Now that you've defined your brand & have begun a marketing campaign using all that's available in your budget, including online & offline advertising & promotional wholesale products; how do you retain your existing customers? What can you do to keep their loyalty so they don't wander over to your competition?

Here are the main constituents of customer loyalty:
1. CUSTOMER'S LOGICAL & EMOTIONAL REACTION TO YOUR PRODUCT: Your target audience has to feel rationally & emotionally connected to your product or service. Before you get your name out among the public you should know who you're targeting & what they're needs are. Also be familiar with their buying habits in the past. Above all, make sure your marketing is going out to the faction of the public you want to receive your advertising message. Your message must be consistent. Bottom line, if they can't relate to you, they'll go to your competition.
2. GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CUSTOMER: Once your product or service has been used by your customer, you should focus on establishing & maintaining a beneficial relationship with them so they continue to come back to you. This is done through online & offline advertising & marketing: emails, direct mailings, phone calls, personal sales calls & promotional imprinted products. And most importantly, the quality of what you offer & the quality of your customer service.
3. OFFER PRODUCT EXTENSIONS: If possible, introduce an extension of your line to keep your customers' loyalty or to draw in new clientele. For example, Crest offers more than their basic fluoride toothpaste with a whitening solution. They expanded their products to include toothpaste specifically for night time use, mint flavored dental floss & whitening strips, to name just a few. To grow & bypass your competition, you need to find ways to expand your targeted audience & keep your old customers interested.
4. SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE: Some customers will remain loyal to you if you support a social, environmental or communal cause that is advantageous to the public. For example, Wilson Sporting Goods have pink tennis balls & rackets with the pink ribbon to support breast cancer awareness & when those items are purchased a percentage of the profits go to that cause. Most pharmacies & grocery stores offer non-woven recyclable bags for their promotional custom products to promote an eco-friendly environment.
5. AVAILABILITY OF YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE: Don't advertise what you can't deliver. As I stated in a previous blog: Will The Real Definition Of Branding Please Stand Up, your brand is your promise & not having your product available can drive your client to your competition. Sometimes it's out of your control. In that case make sure you have a rain check on hand & that this in not an ongoing issue. Above all both your services & product need to be what you advertised them to be--don't oversell them.
6. CONFORM TO THE LATEST TREND: Don't be a dinosaur & think if it worked last year, it will work this year. That line of thinking spells disaster. Be educated about your product. Stay up to date & learn all there is about your specialized field.
7. OPTIONS USED AS LURES: A consumer gets a host of benefits from a new company trying to lure him over to their business. Many of them are hard to ignore. Hopefully you've already won their loyalty, but many times it's hard to resist lower prices & special offers. Rather than concentrating on discounted deals for the new client, it's also beneficial to reward your long-standing customers with discounts & promotions for their loyalty.

No doubt you will always face stiff competition. I hope this helps you to stay ahead of the game.
Ronni Sherman

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Make Room For Your Message On Promotional Wholesale Products

To be successful today, it's important to have brand recognition. If a potential customer recognizes your company name, they are most likely to choose your business when they need your product or services.

Once you've defined your brand, you need to keep your company's name in the public's view at all times. The best way to do this is with promotional imprinted products.

One of the most used of all promotional items are pens. They're inexpensive, yet effective because they go from hand-to-hand like a dollar bill & carry your logo to places you won't go. The one & only disadvantage: very limited space for your advertising message. And in most cases, this is rarely a drawback.

Yet, for those times when you need the extra space there are many customized promotional products that have a large imprint area & can show off more than your company name & website. These items can display your logo & all your company information in a fun & creative way. They have the room to do it.

1. Note Pads & Sticky Notes: The benefits of having your name on these are limitless as they are used everyday, everywhere by everyone. You can take up every inch of the paper to advertise by using a phantom image in the center.
2. Drinkware: Whether it's acrylic sports bottles, insulated travel tumblers, stainless steel water bottles or ceramic coffee mugs--these offer a large imprint area, usually on both sides. They are carried around everywhere which means where your customer goes, so does your logo.
3. Mouse Pads: Nearly everyone uses a computer daily in the office or at home. Your customers will see your information all the time & so will the people around them.
4. Recyclable Grocery & Tote Bags: Let your customers advertise for you while they shop. As they're toting your company name around you're giving out two messages......your own about your business & that you care about the environment.
5. Beach Balls: Have your company name & logo bounce along the beaches & around swimming pools. Wherever people gather this summer for outdoor fun, let your name be seen.
6. T-Shirts: This is a walking billboard for your business. It is right up there with the pen & is just as popular. Think about you look around you, no matter where you are--how many blank t-shirts do you see? Very few, right? Almost all of them show a logo or display an advertising message.

There are many more promotional custom products with large areas for your advertising message......coolers, towels, blankets, umbrellas......the list goes on. I hope I've given you effective ideas of how to display your logo & company name along with information about your business.

One more thing--make it colorful, make it fun, make your message pop!
Ronni Sherman